Contents:

  1. Scientists radio-tag Indian pangolin
  2. US has reached a deal with the Taliban to reduce deadly attacks
  3. Climate change impact on agriculture: 50 million to be poor by 2030, says UN body
  4. India to witness severe food inflation due to extreme weather

SCIENTISTS RADIO-TAG INDIAN PANGOLIN

  • Scientists have, for the first time, radio-tagged the Indian pangolin, an endangered animal, that is rarely sighted in forests here.
  • The Indian pangolin, which resembles an ant-eater but dons a thick scaly skin, is hunted for meat and use in traditional Chinese medicine
  • Researchers say tagging the animal will help understand the habits of the reclusive, nocturnal animal.
  • Radio-tagging involves attaching a transmitter to an animal to monitor its movements. Several wild animals — tigers, leopards and migratory birds — have been tagged over decades.
  • Pangolins are among the most trafficked wildlife species in the world.
  • The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says these toothless animals have seen a rapid reduction in population.
  • The projected population declines range from 50% to 80 % across the genus.
  • Out of the eight species of pangolin, the Indian Pangolin and the Chinese Pangolin are found in India.
  • Both these species are listed under Schedule I Part I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
  • World Pangolin Day, celebrated on the third Saturday in February, is an international attempt to raise awareness of pangolins and bring together stakeholders to help protect these unique species from extinction.

US HAS REACHED A DEAL WITH THE TALIBAN TO REDUCE DEADLY ATTACKS

  • The United States and the Taliban have negotiated a proposal for a seven-day reduction in violence
  • All along that the best, if not only, solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement
  • This deal will take effect “very soon” and could lead to the withdrawal of an unspecified number of American troops from Afghanistan.
  • “Reduction in violence” agreement will be followed by peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government

CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT ON AGRICULTURE: 50 MILLION TO BE POOR BY 2030, SAYS UN BODY

  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has said that climate change would push 100 million people into the abyss of poverty by 2030. Close to half of these would be due to climate change’s impacts on agriculture.
  • Global development and government representatives from across the world made an appeal to urgently spend more on rural development to avoid a catastrophic situation arising out of the climate emergency during IFAD’s 43rd Governing Council meeting in Rome
  • In 2018, 90 per cent of 17.2 million people displaced by disasters were due to weather and climate-related events.
  • “Conflict stops agricultural production and stops millions of people lifting themselves out of poverty

INDIA TO WITNESS SEVERE FOOD INFLATION DUE TO EXTREME WEATHER

  • Rising prices of food items, particularly that of vegetables, have spiked retail inflation to a 68-month high of 7.59 per cent in January 2020, according to the National Statistical Office
  • Extreme weather events have led to crop damages, leading to a collapse in the supply of vegetables at a time of the year when they usually flood the markets.
  • Unseasonal rains and other weather events continue to disrupt the normal crop cycle and also crop yield. Since last year’s monsoon, at least 12 states have recorded longer spells of rains, spreading into the winter monsoon cycle of October-December.
  • A longer summer monsoon delayed sowing and harvesting. But it also raised the hope that higher moisture level would lead to higher Rabi crop yields.
  • But during the winter monsoon — the primary season for vegetable crops — unusually high rainfall days were reported from across the country.
  • It caused damages to standing crops.
  • According to Oxfam, there would be a 107 per cent increase in the price of processed rice by 2030 due to extreme weather events.
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